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Norway's top universities help 'students at risk'

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Norway's top universities help 'students at risk'
Norway's top universities help vulnerable students abroad. Photo: University of Oslo: Shutterstock
20:33 CEST+02:00
Some of Norway's top universities are opening their doors to accept politically persecuted and vulnerable students from overseas.
Around 15 Norwegian institutions are set to welcome and teach “students at risk” from Autumn 2015.
 
This spring the Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Education (SIU) asked all Norwegian universities to receive students deprived of their right to study because of their political interests in their homeland.
 
The scheme called "Students At Risk" received many positive responses. Among those who accepted included the University of Oslo and Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences.
 
The SIU received 23.5 million kroner from the Norwegian government to fund "Students At Risk". Learning institutions were asked to state how many students they could accept.
 
The two-year pilot scheme hopes around 40 students can get the option to further education in Norway.
 
Gore Tjore, head of the SIU, said to Khrono.no: "We have already had a good response from the learning institutions and are now in the early phase of recruiting students. We contacted embassies in countries that could be interested and student organizations."
 
Every student application is screened by education experts and is open to countries registered as recipients of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
 
Ole Petter Ottersen, principal at University of Oslo - one of the participating institutions - said: "We whole-heartedly support this kind of arrangement and are very proud to be a part of the new initiative for students. Unfortunately, there is a great need for initiatives like this in our world today."
 
Each university involved in the "Students At Risk" initiative receives 5,000 kroner per student to cover administration costs.
 
Many activists believe one method of control authoritative regimes use to reduce democracy in their society is expelling their students.
 
Anja Bakken Riise, leader of the SAIH, said: "Students all over the world still risk their own future by fighting for their and others’ rights."
 
It is expected the chosen students will return to their country of origin once they have completed their studies in Norway.
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